Embezzlement Most Often a Felony in Louisiana
Since it is most prevalent in corporate and workplace settings, embezzlement is considered a white collar crime. Like many other white collar crimes, charges of embezzlement often require law enforcement agencies to conduct lengthy, painstaking investigations. The best defense for an embezzlement charge begins before you’ve even been charged, while the investigation is ongoing.
If you believe you are under investigation for embezzlement in Louisiana, or if you have already been charged with a Louisiana state or Federal embezzlement charge, it is imperative that you retain the services of a dedicated criminal defense attorney. Call Bloom Legal today at 504.599.9997 to schedule a consultation with an embezzlement and white collar crime attorney.
Embezzlement is a type of theft in which trust plays an integral role. The person stealing the money or property was entrusted with it and violated that trust in order to misappropriate another person’s property. Embezzlement frequently involves theft by an employee from their employer, or from the employee of a financial institution from that institution’s clients. Like many crimes, the penalties for embezzlement vary depending upon a variety of factors, including:
- The amount stolen
- The person defrauded (for example, penalties will be harsher if the victim of the theft is an elderly or disabled person)
- The prior criminal history of the person accused of embezzlement
- And other factors
Louisiana Embezzlement Law
If you are charged by the state of Louisiana for embezzlement, you will actually be charged with Theft by Misappropriation Without Violence. This statute in the Louisiana state legal code distinguishes embezzlement from other, more violent types of theft or robbery. In order for a person to be charged with this type of theft, the theft must have occurred
- Either without the consent of the victim, or “by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.”
- Without violence
- And with the intent to permanently deprive the victim of their property.
Without these three conditions, you cannot be charged with embezzlement in Louisiana. But if prosecutors are able to prove that those three conditions were present and that the theft occurred, you may be subject to harsh penalties, since embezzlement in Louisiana is most often a felony charge. It is only a misdemeanor charge if the amount stolen totals less than $300, in which case you may face up to six months in prison and up to $1000 in fines. But if prosecutors allege that you stole more than $300, you may find yourself facing up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $3000, or both. If convicted, you will need to disclose that felony conviction on background checks and employment applications.
Additionally, if you are charged with multiple acts of embezzlement, you may face the sum total of the penalties for the various charges. In other words, if convicted of three acts of embezzling over $500, you will face up to thirty years in jail and up to $9000 in fines.
Embezzlement as a Federal Crime
While embezzlement is a serious crime in Louisiana, most often this crime falls under federal jurisdiction, since it often involves commercial transactions that fall under federal corporate, trade, or securities and exchange laws. In these cases, the federal government will prosecute your charges, with varying degrees of severity. If convicted of embezzlement on the federal level, you may face:
- Steep fines
- Restitution (returning stolen funds to victims)
- Community Service
- And other penalties
Many times, rather than just one or the other prosecuting your charge, you may actually be charged with embezzlement on both the state and the federal level. If this is the case, you may be tried twice for the same crime, often more than doubling the length and cost of your legal drama. Additionally, in these cases you will be subject to more numerous and more serious penalties, as you will face both state and federal sentences, both of which must be served.
Bloom Legal, Louisiana Embezzlement and White Collar Crime Attorney
As your defense team in your embezzlement case, Bloom Legal will investigate whether your prior criminal history or other factors might mitigate your charge or sentence. In both Louisiana and federal embezzlement cases, judges might consider these factors in reducing or dismissing your charges. Also, the attorneys at Bloom Legal may be able to negotiate for alternative or reduced sentences to help you keep your freedom after your case is over.
The media pays close attention to these sorts of cases, so an embezzlement charge can seriously damage your professional and personal reputation even if the charges are ultimately dropped. A good lawyer can help minimize your media exposure, as well as working to minimize your charges and your penalties, with the ultimate goal of preserving your freedom and your livelihood. Wherever you are in Louisiana, whether in New Orleans or St. Bernard, St. Tammany, or Jefferson Parishes, or elsewhere, the Louisiana criminal defense attorneys at Bloom Legal will work to protect your reputation and your freedom.
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for embezzlement or any other white collar crime anywhere in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner metropolitan area, remember that you don’t have to speak to anyone except for your criminal defense attorney. Take active steps to protect yourself – contact New Orleans’ Bloom Legal today. Call our office at 504.599.9997 to schedule a consultation with a Louisiana embezzlement defense attorney.
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Posted by: Zachary Klos